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Drug-testing pilot seeking non-typical overdose reactions across Fraser East

Participants can have samples tested, share previous OD symptoms with Fraser Health project
Drug checking. (Jay Wallace photo)

A pilot project has been testing street-drug samples across Fraser East to find out what has been causing unusual overdose symptoms.

This 10-week pilot project from Fraser Health runs until March 14. They’ve been trying to get the word out on the streets in communities from Abbotsford to Hope, with a poster that reads:

“Have you had a non-typical overdose? Find out what is in your dope & help others stay alive.”

Pacific Community Resources Society in Chilliwack has been accepting three to five samples per week, at the Chilliwack Health and Housing Contact Centre at Hocking and Young.

One example of the type of overdose reaction they’re looking for is when it takes significantly more of the naloxone drug to reverse the overdose and bring the person out of it.

Drug checkers will take a 5-mg sample the size the a matchstick tip of the drug itself, or the used cooker or pipe containing the residue from Fraser East communities. Participants have their samples tested, and share previous OD symptoms online, anonymously if they wish.

Call to find out if sample can be accepted at 604-795-5994. Then they can find results online within four to 10 days.

A Fraser Health drug-checking pilot project launched in 2018 was aimed at detecting fentanyl and other substances, in an attempt to prevent overdoses. At the time they were trying to reach stigmatized people who were dying of drug overdose in private residences.

Like other harm reduction services, the testing is a prevention tool in the Fraser Health arsenal to try to stem the tide of fatalities in the overdose crisis.

RELATED: Checking for fentanyl

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Jennifer Feinberg

About the Author: Jennifer Feinberg

I have been a Chilliwack Progress reporter for 20+ years, covering city hall, Indigenous, business, and climate change stories.
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